The world of mountain bike footwear is a funny one. No matter what a new shoe looks like, someone will say they love it, and someone else will say they wouldn't wear it unless they were 80-years-old and blind. Five Ten's new Freerider Pro Mid shoes are sure to be another polarizing options, thanks to the fact that they use three hook-and-loop straps rather than laces or a ratcheting dial system to adjust the fit.
Personally, I care waaay more about function over fashion, and on paper this new model ticks pretty much all of the boxes when it comes to what I'm looking for in a flat pedal shoe. When I reviewed the original Freerider Pro a few years ago I wrote, “If I had one request, it would be for a mid-top version of this exact shoe, or at least one with an asymmetrical cuff that extended over my inner ankle bone...
” That wish has been granted, thanks to a stretchy upper cuff that has a piece of D3O's impact resistant material sewn in to protect inner ankle bones.
The sock-like fit of the Primeknit cuff should help keep dirt and sand out, and provide an extra bit of protection on wet weather rides. The three hook-and-loop straps were inspired by the Freerider VCS kids shoes
– riders kept asking for an adult version, so Five Ten went ahead and did just that, with a few extra features thrown in for good measure.
The lower portion of the shoe is nearly identical to the original Freerider Pro. Five Ten's sticky Stealth S1 Dotty rubber is used for the sole, which is sewn around the reinforced toe box area to help prevent delamination.
The shoes are now available in select markets for $180 USD. Once I get my feet into a pair we'll see how they hold up to a wet and muddy Pacific Northwest winter.